Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Most Random Series of Events.

Once again, it's been a while... But the most recent events have been somewhat strange and have clogged my head.. So I'm going to pop this proverbial brain pimple upon the mirror which is my blog. This is probably going to be a three part story.

We travelled up to Hull on Friday night (22nd June) to see my parents. The plan was to leave Ruben with my parents while me and Jo spent a relaxing break in sunny Mallorca (Majorca) for 3 nights to celebrate our 3rd Wedding anniversary.

The weekend went without incident. We spent time with the family and a few close friends. Our flight was due to leave Doncaster (Robin Hood) airport on monday evening and we stocked up on a few more supplies.

Monday morning was when everything kicked off. A cry came from Jo in my parents downstairs bathroom. "Ermm... There's a problem with the toilet". This and Rubens earlier re-enactment of the rather unusual "Glub, glub" noise coming from my parents downspout led me to cautiously peer out of the front window and into the street. Sure enough... the rain was pouring, and the street was filling with a muddy concoction. Rousing my parents with "zOMG.... Guys... They street is teh Flooded" filled the house with panic, a little more tact might be in order next time.

As Jo bailed water (etc..) out of the stricken downstairs commode using a bucket and a soup ladle, I tried contacting the slashdotted flood line website and their over crowded telephone system, but to no avail.

The water quickly rose over the next hour. Me, my dad and several neighbours frantically waded through knee high waters lifting items out harms way in neighbourhood garages, and rescuing escaping wheelie bin contents as the water continued to rise.

We left for the Airport 5 hours before our flight. This may seem excessive for a 45 minute drive, however the TV and Radio was warning that Roads were starting to be closed. At 12 o'clock, 3 of my parents neighbours garages were flooded and we set off to the airport.

The rain was falling hard, and fast. Just as it had been for the previous 4 hours since I had awoken. The planned route took us down Major roads only. But approaching the exit on the Beverley bypass towards Beverley and the Humber Bridge brought the small amount of traffic to an abrupt halt on the slip road. The entire exit was an enormous puddle. It didn't look too deep... but I knew we wouldn't make it through when I saw the stricken purple Nissan Micra in the centre of the puddle, it's passengers stranded.

A decision was soon made to continue down the bypass to the roundabout at the end of the road... without intervention the SatNav calculated a new route.

We arrived at the roundabout after fighting a partially flooded road to find chaos. Water had taken control of all 3 exits. But this was our only way to get to the airport. Straight ahead was a HGV battling through the flooded exit, the exit to my right was going completely the wrong direction, and the exit to the left was swamped with water. It was however clear of traffic and the direction TomTom suggested. I took a chance... I dropped my 7 year old 1.3l Toyota Corolla down to 2nd gear and slammed my foot on the throttle....

Water engulfed the car... it was much deeper than it seemed... water easily covering the sills. The engine started to cough and splutter. I squeezed more and more revs out of the engine. The fan belt slipped... The car filled with the stench of burning rubber and petrol fumes. The car never stopped moving. The rev counter jumped about like a seismometer in San Fransisco. Until finally, we Just made it through. "Wahooo!!!". Meters from the roundabout was a small farmhouse. A torrent of water pouring from it's driveway and onto the roundabout, as though somebody had turn on a fire hydrant. Altough we made it past the roundabout, This was not over.

Our new route took us over a sweeping landscape... Travelling to the higher ground eased our nerves, while the downward hills brought fear of more what watery fate may lurk below. The roads here were relatively clear, only a few large puddles and fast moving water to deal with.

We reached the village of Walkington. The entire highstreet was now a shallow river. As we travelled up the highstreet, a Yellow Range rover sped past engulfing the car in water once again... The wipers strained to clear the deluge. But finally after navigating all this and more like it in North Cave, we reached the A63. We were home free.

The opposite carriage way was gridlocked for miles. While ours was clear. Rain was still falling as it had been all day. Now, my thoughts passed to my parents, and my son, back in the flood stricken suburbia that was my parents home. The radio spoke of closed roads, schools and evacuations... I felt like a character in a movie... fleeing a disaster zone.

... To Be Continued ...